WASHINGTON D.C (The Washington Post).- The United States will pull out of a nuclear arms control treaty with Russia, the Trump administration announced this Friday Feb. 1, ending a Cold War agreement on grounds that Russian violations render it as unresolved.
The demise of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty raises fears of a new nuclear arms race, although U.S. officials discount the risk.
Mike Pompeo Secretary of State, said the US is suspending participation in the agreement, starting a six-month countdown to a final U.S. withdrawal. That leaves a slim chance that Russia could end missile programs widely seen as a violation, salvaging the treaty. The United States accuses Moscow of violating the agreement since 2014.
“For years Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse,” Pompeo said, adding that the United States has continued to meet its obligations while seeking to get Moscow to come into compliance.
In a statement, Donald Trump said the burden is on Russia.
“The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years, but we will not remain constrained by its terms while Russia misrepresents its actions,” Trump said. “We cannot be the only country in the world unilaterally bound by this treaty, or any other. We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”
Russia has said they are not violating the treaty and that its 9M729 missile has a range of less than 500 kilometers (311 miles). NATO declared in December that the missile system does violate the INF and poses a risk to several countries in Europe.
Russia has warned that it would respond in kind if the United States were to deploy new intermediate-range missiles, potentially leading to a new nuclear buildup in Europe reminiscent of the Cold War.
Speaking at the State Department, Pompeo said the United States would continue diplomatic efforts.
“We’ll continue to have conversations with them. We hope they’ll come back into compliance,” Pompeo said. “We’ve had conversations at every level, at senior levels, at technical levels. We’ve had conversations about the nature of these systems. There’s no mistaking that the Russians have chosen not to comply with this treaty.”
Trump has also pulled the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran and announced a U.S. exit from the Paris climate accords. Neither was a full treaty confirmed by the Senate, as the INF Treaty was.
The Yucatan Times